Week of March 6, 2017
February 2017 Budget and Economic Forecast
The February Forecast, announced this week, was described as having improved, but with significant risk. Positive economic performance since the November forecast and expected U.S. fiscal policy changes raise the revenue forecast in the next biennium $321 million above the November estimates. Increased forecast spending of $156 million and a small increase in the stadium reserve account partially offset the revenue gain, leaving a projected balance available for the upcoming biennium of $1.650 billion, $250 million higher than prior estimates. Federal policy unknowns create significant risk for this forecast, especially in the area of health care.
 
This is generally good news for the legislative session spending priorities. AGC and other advocate groups are asking for transportation funding to come from the general fund in the amount of roughly $300 million per year - attributable to the sales tax collected on auto parts. Republicans will also want to implement tax cuts, while the Democrats will push for an infusion to the reserve account. We expect to see legislative general spending targets the week of March 20.
MnDOT Office of Civil Rights Invitation: I-35W/Lake Street Project
On March 27, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, MnDOT will hold an informational event for contractors interested in learning more about the I-35W/Lake Street project.  Attendees will hear about the $265 million, 4½ year horizontal and vertical construction project that will begin in the summer of 2017 and include 3.5 miles of road work with 11 bridges, a two-level transit station, noise walls, retaining walls, sidewalks and plazas, landscaping, utilities, signals and signing, and much more.  Information will be available about the contracting and subcontracting opportunities, mandatory subcontracting requirements, certified small business goals, workforce goals, and contract compliance requirements.  The event will be held in the third floor conference room at the Colin Powell Center (2924 Fourth Avenue South, Minneapolis).  RSVP by March 22 to Orlanda Klinkhammer at orlanda.klinkhammer@state.mn.us.
Seasonal Load Limit Change and Exceptions
The starting date for Spring Load Restrictions in the North-Central frost zone will be Monday, March 6.  Load Restriction information is available here.
 
MnDOT has posted two exceptions to recent Seasonal Load Limit changes. In the South frost zone, Route 277 is affected and in the Central frost zone, Route 9 is impacted. Details of the exceptions are available here.
B20 Diesel to Go Into Effect Summer of 2018  
A concern has been brought forward that may affect whether your fuel tanks, pumps and piping are approved to store B20.  To date, B20 has not been certified by the MPCA's Tanks Division. It is important that you know if your tanks, pumps and/or pipes are compatible with B20 diesel fuel.  If you do not know for certain, you should reach out to your tank and appliance manufacturers for confirmation. If a non-compliant tank leaks, there is a 50% reduction in funds returned by the Petrofund.  Contact Lisa Frenette at frenettela@gmail.com as to whether your tanks are compatible or not.
Women in Construction Week March 5 - 11: Tradeswomen Meet and Greet
If you have a tradeswoman in your firm, please consider sharing with her this special Meet and Greet invitation, hosted by tradeswomen from the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers and IBEW Local 292. The event will be held on Thursday, March 9, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, at the Urban Growler Brewing Company (2325 Endicott Street, St. Paul). RSVP to Barb Pecks at bpecks@ncsrcc.org or 651-379-0227. Additional information about the Meet and Greet or other Women in Construction activities is available here.
General Contractors Conference
The North Central states Regional Council of Carpenters will hold their General Contractors Conference March 15 and 16 at their training center (700 Olive Street, St. Paul).  Register online at http://conta.cc/2j8SkKU .  Conference questions should be directed to Jim Hendricks at jhendricks@ncsrcc.org
Northwest Sportshow Reduced Price Tickets
The Northwest Sportshow, held each year at the Minneapolis Convention Center, has something for everyone - boats, RVs, gear for fishing, hunting, and camping, displays by outfitters and resorts, and more. Sportshow organizers would like to recognize the hard work of those in the construction industry by offering reduced ticket prices for Thursday, March 23, and Friday, March 24. Tickets will be available for $9 each, a discount of $5 per ticket. Tickets must be pre-ordered and printed online and the special offer will expire at midnight on March 22. Details of the Sportshow are available here. Click on Buy Tickets and type AGCMN in the Have a promo code box. Scroll down to Corporate Partners and continue the purchase. While multiple tickets can be purchased at the reduced rate, they can only be purchased one at a time. Show admission for children 15 and younger is free.
AWC Scholarship Applications Available
The Association of Women Contractors is now accepting scholarship applications from FEMALE students and those involved in apprenticeship programs. The application deadline is April 30. Details and applications are available here.
AGC Bookstore Monthly Featured Product -
Construction State Law Matrix
Through its on-line bookstore, AGC of America offers monthly featured products, available at a discount to AGC members.  A link to the bookstore is available through our home page, www.agcmn.org , or at http://store.agc.org?AffiliateId=AGCO254.
 
The Construction State Law Matrix is the most comprehensive and concise resource available for locating information on state laws affecting public and private construction projects. Updated annually by AGC and the nationally recognized law firm of Smith, Currie, and Hancock, LLP, your annual subscription provides access to searchable information and answers for all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. Your purchase provides instant access from a web browser on any computer or mobile device to information that can be easily sorted by state or topic area. Topics covered include requirements for licensing, bidding, contracting, lien, payment, and more than 60 other topics. To view a sample of the Construction State Law Matrix, click here.
 
A one-year subscription to the Matrix is available during the month of March at a 15% discount using coupon code SLM15.


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Associated General Contractors of Minnesota |  dwoods@agcmn.org | http://www.agcmn.org
525 Park Street, Suite 110
St. Paul, MN 55103
651-632-8929